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Donald Trump exclusive: Russian mob-linked fraudster a 'key player' in presidential hopeful's business ventures "Felix who?" Mr Trump and Felix Sater (far right) Credit: Mark Von Holden/WireImage 26 May 2016 • 9:00pm A Russian-born fraudster who Donald Trump has claimed he would not recognise was a key player in several of the billionaire's business ventures, the Telegraph can disclose.ADVERTISINGinRead invented by TeadsMr Trump signed off on paperwork which made clear that Felix Sater was one of the figures in “control” of Bayrock Group, the property firm building three developments using his name, an investigation has found.The findings appear to contradict statements by the would-be president and his lawyer, distancing him from Sater, who was convicted for helping to lead a $40 million mafia-linked stock fraud scheme.Mr Sater also spent time in jail for stabbing someone in the face with the stem of a margarita glass.The disclosures come as Mr Trump faced criticism after the Telegraph revealed that he signed off on a $50 million business deal involving Bayrock that was designed to deprive the US government of tens of millions of dollars in tax. Mr Trump exits the Budweiser Events Centre after talking at the Bixpo 2005 convention in Colorado. Mr Sater appears in the red tie on Trump's left Credit: Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images In response, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign said Mr Trump’s aim was “to enrich himself at the expense of the American people”.Sater joined Bayrock in around 2002 and in a 2010 deposition said he had been “probably number two” at the company. Mr Trump started working with Bayrock in 2004.However, Alan Garten, Mr Trump’s general counsel, told ABC News in December 2015 that “[in the] long term there was very little involvement” by Sater in the projects that carried the billionaire’s name, including his prized Trump SoHo hotel in New York. A room in Trump SoHo New York Credit: trumphotelcollection.com He suggested that Sater was just one of many employees, saying: “When you go into business with another company, you're going to vet that company certainly, but you're not going to vet every employee, it’s just not appropriate."But documents seen by the Telegraph show that Mr Trump signed off on papers in 2007 which made Sater’s influential position at Bayrock clear.In May 2007 Mr Trump signed a consent letter for the $50 million deal between Bayrock and FL, and Icelandic company. It asked him to “indicate your consent to the Transaction as evidenced by the Transaction Documents by counterexecuting and returning to the undersigned a copy of this letter”.DocumentPagesNotesZoom «Page 1 of 3 »The main enclosed document was the loan agreement, which explicitly listed Sater - who used the spelling Satter while at Bayrock – as a “manager” whose departure at any point during the time frame of the deal could put it at risk.It said that FL’s "election to participate in the transaction contemplated by this Agreement is predicated in part upon Tevfik Arif, Felix Sater, Jody Kriss and Julius Schwarz ... remaining associated with Bayrock with substantially similar or greater duties as such Bayrock Manager has of the Effective Date, until the Completion Date."Mr Garten has said that the first Mr Trump discovered of his convictions was in December 2007.It then emerged that in 2010 Sater was brought back in to worked in Trump Tower and been given a Trump Organization business card with the title “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump”. Mr Garten said Mr Sater was not working for Mr Trump, and that he had only been used to “source business deals”. Mr Trump’s empire is built in large part on reputation, with the presidential candidate lending his name to buildings around the globe. Mr Garten appeared to struggle to answer why Mr Trump had continued to work with a person with a mafia-linked and criminal past. He said Mr Trump wanted to give Mr Sater an “opportunity”. Mr Trump appeared to have valued Mr Sater’s past involvement in Bayrock. A source in the room at the 2007 party to launch Trump SoHo told this newspaper that Mr Trump had “picked Sater out of the crowd of guests”. “He told him to come up on stage, and that he deserved some of the limelight,” the source said. The Telegraph's investigation into Trump explained 01:36 The account of the party and the disclosure of Sater’s work at Trump Tower make all the more surprising Mr Trump’s claim in a 2013 deposition that “if he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn't know what he looked like.”In an interview last week Mr Garten said of Sater’s involvement with Bayrock: “He was involved. No one disputes his involvement at the early stages. But after early 2008 he was no longer affiliated with the company.”He added: “We did do due diligence and we did do background checks on the owners of the company. He was not an owner of the company.”He claimed of the FL deal that Mr Trump “had nothing to do with that transaction” and by signing the letters was simply acknowledging the deal as a “limited partner”.“He was not signing off on the deal,” he insisted.Analysis: what effect could revelations have on Trump's presidential campaign? 01:23 Last week Robert Woolf, Sater’s lawyer, said his client had provided extraordinary assistance” to the US government since his fraud conviction, having agreed to cooperate with the authorities.Sater refused to comment “about either Donald Trump or Bayrock.”Bayrock has described the allegations about the FL deal as “baseless”.